MOSQUITO BATTLE PLAN
We bought our house two years ago and I was sold before we even went inside - I ADORE our yard. Envisioned eating dinners on the patio, the kids running around, lots and lots of time outdoors. One big problem we learned when the weather started warming up - mosquitos, LOTS AND LOTS OF MOSQUITOES. There is a big lake next door and some creeks, which is ideal breeding ground for these little monsters. My son is a magnet for bites, they eat him alive - just going from the house to the car he’ll get bit.
I will not spray our yard, WILL NOT. My sister used a natural, organic yard spray in her yard and it killed all her fish in the koi pond - not gonna do it. In the past I’ve relied on essential oil sprays and citronella torches but this year I’ve got a big plan. I wanna spend this summer outside - watch out skeeters!
Did you know that one bat can eat up to ONE THOUSAND mosquitoes in just one hour? BRING IT. We have three of them and top of my husband’s to-do list is to hang them (trying hard not to nag…). Here is the trick - don’t hang from a tree because critters can creep in and the bats won’t settle in. You have to hang 10-12 foot high on a pole. They like warmth so put the boxes in sunny area.
They’re kinda picky - here are some tips for a successful bat house (copied from www.batmanagement.com) :
‘Place bat houses up high, at least 15 feet from the ground, on a pole or the side of a building where bats can fly to it easily. To maintain the optimal temperature for bats (85 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit), houses are best placed in south-facing locations that get six to eight hours of sun exposure during the day. Building walls absorb heat during the day and radiate it to the bat house at night, so bat houses mounted on walls tend to stay warmer than those mounted on poles. Painting the exterior black can also help your bat house absorb and retain heat during the day.”
They also need access to a water supply - if you don't live within 1/4 natural water supply you need to have a fountain or bird bath with fresh water to attract and keep bats.
And look how cute and sweet they look - COME TO MY YARD!!!!!
I’m crossing my fingers this will work - a few friends swear by it! Was an investment at $109 (which is about the same cost to get your yard sprayed)) and here is the Amazon description: “Get relief from mosquitoes and other flying insects with the DynaTrap DT1050 Insect Trap. Proven to attract, trap, and kill mosquitoes, biting flies, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, moths, and more, this trap’s three-way system lures flying insects with a warm UV light and carbon dioxide. Its whisper-quiet fan draws insects into the screened base and traps them until they dehydrate and die--without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides. Designed for indoor or outdoor use in all weather conditions, this durable mosquito trap offers coverage of up to a half-acre.”
Dehydrate and die works for me - zero chemicals or zap noises. Again, REALLY hoping this works!
I checked about protecting bees and according to their site: , “The DynaTrap does not attract “beneficial” insects, such as honey bees, dragonflies, and lady bugs. In fact, by using your DynaTrap 24/7 you are helping honey bees – there are a number of moth species that attack the products of honey bees.” Better be true!!
HAKOL Ultimate Bug Zapper Lamp
I also bought this little portable HAKOL Ultimate Bug Zapper Lamp on Amazon - how could I not with a 4 star rating at under $20?! It is very small and I plan to bring it out when Teddy is out playing - he tends to hang out in the same spot and dig, pour, play Legos, etc. Extra protection. Amazon description: ”GET RID OF ALL THOSE BLOOD-SUCKING MOSQUITOS ONCE & FOR ALL with the HAKOL ultra-quiet and highly efficient bug zapper, which is specifically designed to eliminate all flying insects, including flies, mosquitos and all other bugs. THE SAFEST WAY TO ELIMINATE INSECTS & BUGS IS FINALLY HERE! No more toxic fumes, no more sprays, no more hassle. Our eco-friendly and safe UV light insect killer is ideal for families with children or elderly, since it’s 100% safe and non-toxic.” All caps in all the right places for me!!
I have several big terra-cotta pots that I plant with flowers every Spring - this year they will all be filled with LEMONGRASS!!! Mosquitoes DESPISE the scent - Every pot I can find will have lemongrass in them. Gives good height and dimension to your garden. Most importantly it repels mosquitoes. I haven’t planted yet but plan to buy out the nursery this weekend!! Being a tropical plant, it likes warmth and plenty of sun - at least 8 hours a day of direct light.
BUG REPELLANT TIPS
Don’t use sunscreen/bug repellent combinations
If you absolutely must use a DEET product (which is a neurotoxin), spray on your clothes NOT on your skin
This deserves all caps: OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS BASED REPELLENTS ARE JUST AS EFFECTIVE AS DEET ACCORDING TO THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL!!!
Use oils or lotions, never sprays to prevent inhalation
Never apply to broken skin
Always wash off repellent and change clothes when you come back inside.
I really like Doterra’s TerraShield (can connect you with my rep Elisabeth Watts of Well:Family Essential Oils) and put behind knees, elbows and neck. For bug bites I love Young Living’s Purification essential (happy to connect you to my rep Christa Robaina). I also like Pure Stella’s Bug Off, which is locally made by a Charlotte Mom.
YARD CONTROL TIPS (also from Toxic Free NC)
Empty sources of standing water including gutters, watering cans, saucers under potted plants
Empty and clean birdbaths twice weekly
Fill holes in trees with sand or mortar (new to me!)
Do not over-irrigate lawns
Remove leaf piles frequently
Reduce amount of English Ivy (never heard this one either)
Keep grass cut and bushes trimmed
Clear branches, trash and leaves from catch basins at road corners, street gutter, and drains
Fill ornamental ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae. I’m doing this with our fountain!!!!!